5/30/2014 6:00:00 AM Vikings clip Jackets in CIF play-in
BLYTHE, Calif. — The Palo Verde High School Yellow Jacket baseball team failed in its chance to advance to the double elimination portion of the CIF/ San Diego Section Division 4 playoffs when the Holtville Vikings stunned the sixth seeded Jackets 6-1 in Holtville in Tuesday afternoon’s play-in game.
Randy Peterson Palo Verde Valley Times
BLYTHE, Calif. - The Palo Verde High School Yellow Jacket baseball team failed in its chance to advance to the double elimination portion of the CIF/ San Diego Section Division 4 playoffs when the Holtville Vikings stunned the sixth seeded Jackets 6-1 in Holtville in Tuesday afternoon's play-in game.
The Vikings were seeded 11th but were given a home game by virtue of its Manzanita League championship. Palo Verde beat the Vikings twice during the first two weeks of the season with wins at Ken Heater Field on the PVHS campus and in Holtville but it will be the Vikings who advance in the Division 4 playoffs when they travel to Calexico for the first round of double elimination play.
Holtville scored first with a run in the bottom of the first then really got to Jacket starting pitcher, Brandon Johnson, in the bottom of the third when they scored five more times.
Johnson was charged for all six runs, five of which were earned, before Gage Wright came on in the bottom of third and went the rest of the way.
Johnson did what he could from the other side of the plate as he got three of the four Jacket hits in the contest along with scoring the lone Jacket run in the top of the sixth. Wright had the other Jacket hit and Sam Taylor had the lone RBI for the locals.
Coach Brandon Mikkelson awarded player of the game honors to senior backup, Evan Joslin.
"Evan has been a leader all year long although he hasn't seen as much playing time as others." Mikkelson said. "He was the loudest guy in our dugout and did his best to keep our players in the game. Evan is the most unselfish player we have in our program, he puts the team first."
Central and Calexico were seeded first and third respectively in the Division 4 bracket and both avoided play-in games. Central was the Imperial Valley League (IVL) champion while Calexico and Imperial shared second place in the standings with Brawley and Southwest.
Imperial was seeded fifth in the bracket and posted a 4-1 victory over Escondido Charter in its play-in contest and advanced to play Mar Vista in the opening round.
The Jackets completed their Imperial Valley League season over the last week and were half hoping to gain momentum from the win over Brawley to open the second half of league play and having three of their final four contests at home. Ironically, the only win came on the road at Southwest where the Jackets claimed a 5-3 triumph over the Eagles.
Brandon Johnson was named "Player of the Game" for Palo Verde in that win as he pitched a complete game, allowing only two earned runs while striking out five and allowing six hits over seven innings.
The junior pitcher also did his part on the offensive side with two hits including a double, scored a run, and drove in two along with stealing a base.
Palo Verde broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning when they scored four times. The Jackets improved the lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth stanza before Southwest put three runs on the board in their final two at bats.
Damien Ramirez drove in two runs with a single while Jacob Green rapped a triple and scored once. Dylan Johnson scored a run and singled in another while Alec Spivey, Landon Bishoff, and Roy Reid scored the other Jacket runs.
Palo Verde took on the IVL champion Central Spartans in their final league game last Thursday when the Spartans claimed a 6-3 victory at Ken Heater Field. The Spartans scored twice in each of their first two at bats to lead 4-0 before the Jackets countered with three runs in their half of the third. Unfortunately, for the locals, it was the last of their scoring.
The Spartans added insurance tallies in the fourth and sixth frames to claim the win.
Ramirez was named the "Player of the Game" for the Jackets with two hits including a double, scored a run, and drove in two in the loss.
The Jackets managed only two other hits in the contest, one each from the Johnson brothers, Brandon and Dylan, as they also scored the other two Jacket runs. Evan Berkey was credited with the third Palo Verde run batted in.
Earlier the Jackets suffered home losses to Calexico and Imperial.
Against Imperial in a 4-2 setback, Brandon Johnson pitched a solid game as he allowed only one earned run to the Tigers while striking out nine and walking three and allowing only four hits.
The Jacket bats were relatively silent however as Palo Verde managed only two hits, again only singles from the Johnson brothers as each scored one run as well.
Against Calexico, the Jackets took a 2-1 lead to the sixth inning, scoring two runs in the first inning while the Bulldogs put its run on the board in the second at bat.
In the sixth, Calexico scored three times in the inning and the Jackets countered with one tally in the bottom of the frame before the Bulldogs put the game away with another three-run burst in the seventh inning to claim a 7-3 win.
Berkey was awarded "Player of the Game" for the Jackets as he rapped two hits, drove in a run, and played a solid game at shortstop for the locals,
Ramirez had a double, drove in two runs and scored another while Bishoff, the Johnsons, and Roy Reid each had a hit in the loss.